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Family Care Leave in Effect as of July 1, 2019

Posted: 7/1/2019 Tags: benefits legislation policy Tags Views: 758

CalHR has updated its policy to reflect that effective July 1, 2019, excluded employees enrolled in the Annual Leave Program (Section 2102) are eligible for Family Care Leave as part of Non-Industrial Disability Insurance (Section 1411).

The new Family Care Leave Benefit is only for excluded employees enrolled in Annual Leave. Normally, excluded employees must wait 24 months before changing from Vacation/Sick Leave to the Annual Leave program. As a result of the new Family Care Leave benefit, CalHR has also announced a one-time open enrollment period for excluded employees to elect to enroll in Annual Leave. ACSS members who recently elected the Vacation/Sick Leave Program or switched to the Vacation/Sick Leave Program have until August 29, 2019 to elect to enroll in the Annual Leave Program by submitting a form to their Human Resources Office. Employees currently enrolled in Annual Leave are automatically eligible for the Family Care Leave benefit and no action is required.


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ACSS Secures Significant Victory! How ACSS Helped Make Family Care Leave Benefits for Excluded Employees a Reality.

Posted: 6/21/2019 Tags: benefits legislation legislature policy Tags Views: 788

The legislature passed Senate Bill 83 and it is now on Governor Newsom’s desk. SB 83 will provide supervisors, managers and confidential employees the ability to take up to six weeks of paid time off to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child.

ACSS has advocated for paid family leave benefits for years. In the last legislative session, an ACSS sponsored bill (AB 3145) made it to the desk of Governor Brown. Although he vetoed the bill, he noted that the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) was developing a plan to offer paid family benefits to state managers and supervisors. The Newsom Administration has supported the legislative changes required to implement this benefit. ACSS has been working with the Administration diligently to ensure that SB 83 passed through the legislature and that ACSS members receive these important benefits.

The new law, effective July 1, 2019, will expand non-industrial disability insurance (NDI) for excluded employees enrolled in the annual leave program. Under the “Enhanced-NDI” program, supervisors, managers and confidential employees will receive 50 percent of their gross salary for up to six weeks for Family Care Leave. This Enhanced-NDI benefit can be supplemented to 75% or 100% of salary using paid leave credits. This new benefit is unique to excluded employees and is employer paid with no employee contribution required. There is no waiting period for excluded employees switching from vacation/sick leave into the annual leave program.

ACSS President Todd D’Braunstein remarked, “ACSS has long sought paid leave for our members to bond with a new child or care for ill family members.  I am proud that ACSS’ legislative program was able to deliver this benefit to our members.  Achieving this benefit without an employee cost is remarkable.  I thank Governor Newsom for championing paid family leave and the Legislature for swiftly passing this new law which is unique to supervisors and managers.”

If you have any questions about switching from vacation/sick leave to annual leave or questions about the new Family Care Leave benefit, contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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ACSS and CalHR Discuss Salary and Benefit Improvements

Posted: 10/4/2018 Tags: bargaining benefits legislation meeting policy representation Tags Views: 1729

On October 1, 2018, CalHR Acting Director Adria Jenkins-Jones met with ACSS President Frank Ruffino, ACSS Executive Director Rocco Paternoster, ACSS Director of Representation Nellie Lynn and ACSS Legislative Advocate Ted Toppin to discuss improvements to the salary and benefits of excluded state employees.

“It was a pleasure to meet with the Association of California State Supervisors, and I look forward to working with ACSS as CalHR’s Acting Director,” Adria Jenkins-Jones said. “I have enormous respect and appreciation for the state’s managers and supervisors and the jobs they do. They drive California state government and ensure that we fulfill our mission to serve the public.”

ACSS acknowledged the progress made under the Brown administration and previous CalHR Director Richard Gillihan. In addition to General Salary Increases in 2017 and 2018, the Administration provided excluded employees a 3% General Salary Increase (GSI) effective on October 1, 2016, as well as various special salary adjustments to address salary compaction. The October 2016 GSI was a departure from previous practice by providing excluded employees a GSI before several rank and file Unions reached collective bargaining agreements. ACSS is committed to continuing to work with CalHR and the next administration to ensure excluded employees receive equitable and appropriate salary and benefit improvements.

ACSS advocated for a minimum 10% pay differential between excluded employees and their staff. We also provided salary data supporting ACSS’ request for special salary adjustments for various excluded classifications to address salary compaction and pay parity for excluded employees.

Additionally, we advocated for salary increases for excluded employees related to bargaining units 06, 09 and 10. Rank and File employees in those units recently reached new labor contracts (called Memorandum of Understanding or MOUs) with salary increases, in which ACSS urged CalHR to pass on those benefits to excluded employees.

In addition, ACSS reiterated a request for disability insurance benefit improvements and paid family leave. CalHR confirmed they will notice and meet with ACSS under the Meet and Confer process on a proposal to provide state managers and supervisors with paid family leave benefits by July 2019. Governor Brown’s veto message on ACSS supported AB 3145 revealed plans to provide paid family leave benefits for excluded state employees.

More information on AB 3145 and paid family leave can be found here.

As always, ACSS will provide updates as information is available about specific salary and benefit improvements for excluded employees.


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Governor’s Veto: Paid Family Leave for Supervisors and Managers on Its Way

Posted: 10/4/2018 Tags: benefits legislation legislature policy Tags Views: 1318

Although Governor Brown has vetoed ACSS backed legislation, the veto message makes clear our collective voice has been heard. AB 3145 would have given individual supervisors and managers the option of selecting enrollment in the State Disability Insurance Program or choosing to remain in the current Non-Industrial Disability Insurance or Enhanced Non-Industrial Disability Insurance programs. This individual choice would have allowed employees to participate in the program that best met their needs. In his veto message, Governor Brown noted the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) “is developing a plan to offer paid family leave benefits to state managers and supervisors by July 1, 2019.”

ACSS supported AB 3145 and the option of allowing individual supervisors and managers the choice to elect to participate in the State Disability Insurance Program (SDI) in large part because of the Paid Family Leave Program. SDI carries with it an employee contribution, but provides greater benefits, the most significant being coverage by the Paid Family Leave Program, which provides up to six weeks of partial pay to care for a sick family member or bond with a new child.

ACSS will be meeting with CalHR as it develops the details of the new paid family leave benefits program for supervisors, managers and confidential employees and will keep you informed about the new program.

Read Governor Brown’s AB 3145 Veto Message here.


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Open Enrollment for Health, Dental and Vision Begins September 10, 2018

Posted: 8/31/2018 Tags: benefits health policy Tags Views: 956

Open Enrollment for health, dental and vision coverage starts September 10 and ends October 5. This is your opportunity to evaluate your health care selections and make any changes to your health or dental plans and add or drop dependents effective January 1, 2019.

CalHR just announced the amount of the 2019 Consolidated Benefits (CoBen) allowance to be used for health and dental benefits effective January 1, 2019. The CoBen Employer contribution for excluded employees has increased to $668 (Single)/$1293 (2-Party)/$1673 (Family). This new CoBen amount for supervisors, managers, and confidential employees is up to $50 higher per month than the state employer contribution for rank-and-file employees.

If you have received notification of a change in health plan availability, or if you would like to explore different health plan options, CalPERS has a tool that allows you to search plan availability and premium rates based on your zip code. Visit the CalPERS website here.

Some premiums are going up, while others are decreasing. To compare plan costs and calculate your exact out of pocket costs, or your CoBen cash back if your selections are lower than the CoBen Allowance, visit the CalHR Benefits Calculator and select “2019” and “Excluded Employee” before entering your options.

Be on the lookout for Open Enrollment forms from your department. If you are not making changes, no action is needed.


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CalPERS Update: Earnings and Health Benefit Plans

Posted: 7/19/2018 Tags: benefits pension retirement Tags Views: 1158

CalPERS has reported a preliminary 8.6 percent net investment return for the 12-month period that ended June 30, 2018. This is the second year in a row that earnings have exceeded the long-term assumed rate of return, which is 7.25% for the current fiscal year. With assets of more than $351 billion, CalPERS overall funded status rose three percentage points to an estimated 71 percent.

CalPERS has also concluded negotiations with health plan providers for 2019. Overall rates will increase 1.16 percent with members in Basic Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans seeing an average increase of 0.37 percent and members in Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans will see an overall average increase of 2.83 percent. While these are averages, some plans have significant increases (22.96% for Anthem HMO Traditional and 19.80% for PERSCare PPO) and some plans have significant decreases (-25.56% for PERSSelect PPO). Over the objections of ACSS and other state employee advocates, HealthNet will be leaving the Sacramento market in 2019 and Blue Shield Access+ will exit from eight Bay Area counties in 2019.

Because of the wide variances in rates and changes in plan availability, it will be particularly important to evaluate your options during this year's Open Enrollment period from September 10 to October 5.  CalHR will soon release the "CoBen Allowance" for 2019 which is the state employer contribution for health, dental and vision for the 2019 calendar year. Prior to Open Enrollment, CalHR will update the "Benefits Calculator" on the CalHR webpage which allows comparisons of out-of-pocket costs depending on health benefit selections. ACSS will provide the CoBen Allowance amount for 2019 and a link to the Benefits Calculator when it is available.


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May Revision of the Budget: Continue Saving for the Future as Surplus Grows

Posted: 5/16/2018 Tags: benefits budget legislation pension policy retirement salary Tags Views: 1328

Governor Jerry Brown released his May Revise of the Budget on May 11th, 2018. ACSS Legislative Advocate Ted Toppin provides relevant analysis and insight of the May Revise that may be of interest to managers, supervisors and other excluded state employees:

“The state continues to generate revenue at unprecedented levels and now it is coming in faster. In January, the surplus was predicted to be $6 billion. The surplus now is expected to be $9 billion.

The May Revise proposes saving for the future. In January, the Governor proposed to put an additional $4.4 billion into the state rainy day fund, topping it out at $13.8 billion – the constitutional limit. In the May Revise, he socks another $3.3 billion into a different reserve account.

Budget negotiations between the Administration and the Legislature will now heat up. The Governor will urge restraint. Legislators of both parties will push for billions of dollars in additional spending. Ultimately, you can expect the Governor to agree to modest increased spending while keeping his rainy day reserves. Regardless, the Legislature will pass a budget by June 15 and the Governor will sign it by June 30.

Here’s what the May Revise says about issues important to ACSS members:

State Employee Compensation

The January budget proposal included $1.2 billion ($589.5 million General Fund) for:

  • increased employee compensation
  • health care costs for active state employees
  • retiree health care prefunding for active employees

The May Revise decreases this amount by $8.1 million to reflect:

  • corrections to 2019 health rates
  • natural changes to enrollment in health and dental plan
  • updated employment information for salary increases
  • updated employment information for salary increases
  • revised pay increases for judges
  • updated costs related to the salary survey estimates for the California Highway Patrol (Bargaining Unit 5)

State CalPERS Contribution

The state’s contribution – $6.2 billion – to CalPERS is down slightly ($18 million) from the January estimate. The decline in the revise is mainly driven by:

  • CalPERS’ higher than expected investment return in 2016-17
  • the benefit of the state’s additional $6 billion pension payment in 2017-18
  • higher than projected enrollment of members under the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013, who have lower benefit formulas

Overall, pension reforms are beginning to reduce costs. The May Revise proposes no additional pension reforms.

State Health Care/Retiree Health Care

The May Revise makes no changes to the expected costs of providing state employees and state retirees health care.

State Employee Position Increases

The May Revise also reports that there is expected to be an additional 3,878 position in state government next year for a total of 210,767 in FY 2018-19.”

The Governor’s complete budget summary and draft budget can be found here: www.ebudget.ca.gov.


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California Supreme Court to Review a Trio of Pension Cases

Posted: 4/26/2018 Tags: benefits legislation legislature pension policy retirement Tags Views: 1659

Protecting your pension and retirement benefits is a core principle for ACSS. Three cases pending before the State Supreme Court raise questions regarding the validity of the long standing “California Rule.” Since 1955, the courts have held under the California Rule that once pension benefits are granted to a public employee, they are vested and cannot be modified for the duration of an employee’s career.

>> Read more...


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CalPERS Benefits Education Event in Visalia - March 2 & 3

Posted: 2/9/2018 Tags: benefits retirement Tags Views: 911

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) is hosting a two-day CalPERS Benefits Education Event (CBEE) in Visalia to inform members in an 10-county area about programs and benefits available to them. This event will take place at the Visalia Convention Center on Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, 2018. The same program is offered on each day, so attendees can select the day they wish to attend.

Whether new to CalPERS, in mid-career, or close to retirement, CBEEs offer all CalPERS members a wealth of information about their retirement and health benefits, supplemental savings plans, long-term care coverage, and more. Representatives from CalPERS Regional Offices will be on hand to answer questions.

Open both Friday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the event features breakout sessions specific to both early through mid-career members, and those nearing retirement. Topics to be covered include CalPERS retirement benefits, CalPERS health benefits, and deferred compensation.

For more information and to register for this event, visit https://www.calpers.ca.gov/page/newsroom/calpers-news/2018/benefits-education-event-visalia.


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Cast Your VOTE! Miller Will Protect YOUR Pension.

Posted: 9/23/2017 Tags: benefits election pension retirement Tags Views: 983

Hurry! Monday October 2 is the last day you can cast your vote in the CalPERS election. ACSS encourages you to support David Miller for CalPERS Board Member At Large, Position A. Miller is committed to putting the interests of CalPERS members first. Miller has spent 25 years as a union member, union leader and a founder of Californians for Retirement Security, the broad coalition formed in 2005 to fight against non-stop attacks on public employees and our pensions. With integrity and commitment, Miller will stand up to ensure the system is always there to provide retirement security for each and every employee and retiree.

Click here to vote online NOW! Miller needs YOUR support to help protect pensions and ensure the best interests for all excluded employees.


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